Understanding Your Protein Needed Per Day Requirements
The subject of how much protein needed per day has been debated in the world of health and fitness for what seems forever now. If you listen to some bodybuilders they believe that you should be taking in as much as you can for muscle growth. On the flip side, other health enthusiasts believe that protein should be limited and not every meal has to have protein in it. In this post I am going to look at both sides of the spectrum and hopefully give you a better understanding of how much protein you should eat in a day.
The Argument For A High Protein Diet
Along with carbohydrates and fats, protein, is one of the three main nutrients your body needs for survival. It is responsible for maintaining, repairing, and building all of your body’s cells along with other essential functions such as:
- Keeping Vital Organs Healthy
- Boosting Your Immune System
- Helps Build Muscle
- Keeping An Optimal Metabolism
- Supports Healthy Digestion
Those in favor of eating a high protein diet believe that this is the best way to build muscles, burn fat, and keep a lean body. They also believe that not taking in enough protein will prevent you from gaining muscle, lessens fat burning, and also will prevent you from performing at your best.
The Argument For A Low Protein Diet
There have been studies to show that consuming large amounts of protein can have negative effects on your health. This is especially true if you are sedentary. Taking in more protein than your body can handle can lead to such things as:
- Increased body fat
- Weak Bones
- Kidney Stones
People who believe that a low protein diet is better feel that there is little health benefit to eating more protein. Consuming less protein will have them avoiding the complications listed above.
Finding The Right Balance
Just like many things in life, balance is the key when it comes to eating protein. If you follow these simple rules below, you will be able to balance your consumption of protein and enjoy the health benefits without the risk.
The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight, or 0.80 grams per kilogram. The recommended amount of protein for the sedentary man is 56 grams and for the sedentary women it is 46 grams. If you are involved in fitness or are very active, this is where the debate begins.
At least 10-35% of the calories you take in a day should come from protein. It is important to make sure you do not go as high as 70% of your calories from protein.
If your exercise routine consists of mainly cardiovascular exercise, the try to keep your consumption on the middle to lower end of the scale.
If strength training is more of your exercise of choice and want to build more muscle, keep your protein consumption towards the higher end of the scale.
What About Protein Supplements?
When it comes to supplements, protein such as whey protein, have become a big industry. Many people will replace meals with supplements or just take in a shake to try and increase the amount of protein they get to build muscle. You should always try and get your nutrients from healthy eating, but in today’s busy schedules, some find it necessary to take in some protein supplements. This of course is of personal preference and if it helps you get your nutrients at a time you can’t get in some food, then I see no issue with it.
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The answer to the question of how much protein needed per day is actually very flexible. The amount that you need will depend on many things, such as activity levels and will mainly depend on your fitness goals. As long as you are not going to extreme levels with your protein intake, in either direction, you should benefit from this important nutrient without any health risk.